Dan Lafferty, Director of Voice and Music at PHMG, gives some top tips for implementing audio branding
Visual branding is a core element of the marketing mix for opticians, often spending a large amount of budget on making their business look as professional as possible.
How it sounds is equally as important yet is far too infrequently harnessed by businesses. This could be due to the common misconception that audio branding is only for global organisations with a large amount of money at their disposal. However, this isn’t the case. By far the largest usage is via the telephone – and this concerns companies of all sizes, especially optician businesses where the phone is still a key tool in converting leads to sales.
When it comes to implementing an appropriate audio brand, the practice is very similar to when developing a visual brand.
Each business wants to have a unique selling proposition in their marketplace and having a distinctive audio brand would help to reflect this. Invariably, a visual brand is used to depict an idiosyncratic identity, which takes into account the desired company image and values, yet organisations frequently adopt a ubiquitous approach to their audio branding by using an existing music track or a random voice.
Appropriate attention should be paid to what is being heard in order to convey the individual personality of the company. Creating voice and music unique to the business will help distinguish them from the competition and help build a long-lasting brand identity among customers and prospects. As well, customer service levels can also be boosted. A study of 1,000 British consumers discovered the majority of respondents felt more valued if they heard bespoke voice and music while on hold.
Commercial music comes with emotional baggage. Most people can probably name a song that irritates them while a different song perhaps holds good memories. Many businesses will simply choose a popular song thinking it will engage the listener yet how a customer responds depends on their previous experience of the track. If their feelings are negative, it could prove detrimental by prompting caller hang-ups. Instead, you should look at the business attributes and articulate them musically through elements such as instrumentation and tempo.
Similar to music, there are a number of different elements to take into account when choosing the voice of your business. Should it be masculine or feminine? Old or young? Accent or receive pronunciation? Ultimately, it depends on the image your organisation wants to portray. A masculine voice is seen as authoritative and distinguished, ideal for a company wanting to provide a subconscious reassurance that customers are in safe hands. On the other hand, a feminine voice is deemed soft and soothing so it is particularly appropriate where businesses need to provide a calm welcome. In terms of age, an older age profile enables a company to convey dependability while a younger voice suggests vibrancy and enthusiasm.
If your business caters to a local demographic, an accent can also help connect with a customer on an emotional level. This helps provide a sense of reassurance and could potentially be the difference in whether a customer chooses your organisation over another.
If a customer hears the same messages each time they call a business, they will suffer the fatigue of being fed the same information repeatedly in the same manner and they will simply switch off.
By changing the messages on a regular basis, it not only keeps customers up-to-date with new business services and current offers, but also helps to boost engagement and hold their attention.
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